- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 4, 2015

An Albuquerque police officer is recovering after a suspected drunk driver shot him in the torso during a traffic stop early Saturday morning, police said.

Federal authorities joined the search Saturday for a man accused of exiting his car during a traffic stop on San Mateo Boulevard about 2:30 a.m. and shooting a police officer twice, striking him once in the torso and once in the bulletproof vest he was wearing, a local CBS affiliate reported.

The 30-year APD veteran, who has not been identified, is expected to survive, police said. The officer reportedly returned gunfire, but it is unclear whether the suspect was hit.

Police described the suspect as white or a light-skinned Hispanic man who is about six feet tall, the station reported.

The officer who was shot was wearing a body camera, and the footage is being reviewed in hopes of finding the suspect, police said.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was assisting with the investigation and offered a $7,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, CBS News reported.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the officer and his family,” Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said in a statement. “Every day our officers risk their lives to protect us, and we are grateful for their service. It is important that we never take for granted the dangerous work they do.”

Separately, APD and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office were investigating a threatening phone call made against the two agencies on Friday morning, the CBS affiliate reported.

“Yes, we’re investigating that call separately,” APD spokesman Simon Drobik said. “But our priority at this point is getting [the man who shot the APD officer] into custody. I can’t stress that enough: We are focused on getting this person into custody.”

Sheriff’s officials briefed deputies about the threats of violence against law enforcement and told them to be on the alert, the station reported.

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